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How do you do....it? Thread, backup of raid 5 in Technical; Hey again, My network guy is having issues coming up with a backup plan for a couple RAID 5 servers. ...
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    Question backup of raid 5

    Hey again,

    My network guy is having issues coming up with a backup plan for a couple RAID 5 servers. Is this possible aside from going out and buying an expensive backup software?

    I figure if it can be done, someone else in the education field has done it

    Basically we have 2 of our primary student information system servers running RAID 5, so if a drive dies we're OK - however we'd love an image of the entire server for worst-case scenario issues.

    Any thoughts? ..thanks as always!

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    plexer's Avatar
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    ntbackup?

    Ben

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    If its just day to day backups you want then i'd agree ntbackup should do what you want. If you want an image of the whole server why not look into vmware?

    Steve

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I agree NTBackup to a NAS would work, however you'd still need to re-install the OS, then perform a full restore including the System State.

    Me personally, I keep the system drive seperate using RAID 1 (mirrored), then RAID 5 with 3 or more disks. Alternatively HP do RAID 6 which allows you to lose upto two failed drives at once.

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    LCPSWolf (21st May 2009)

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    I would be careful taking images of servers then restoring them after.

    What OS are they running? What exactly do they do?

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    I vote with Michael,
    Mirror your OS and Raid5 your data Volumes

    Imaging DC's for recovery purposes is fraught with issues.
    If you need to restore at any time you are going to want the very lastest usable copy of your AD and that means doing an authorative restore from a backup.

    If you want bare metal DR then use a BESR or Acronis CDP type backup.
    This restores to different hardware or VM if need be.

    Most raid controllers need specialist drivers to mount the logical arrays and disk imaging tools have trouble loading these.
    Windows PE has eased this problem a little so I expect ghosting some of the latest servers is now perfectly feasible.
    However, a six month old Ghost image of your DC is likely to cause you more work than it's worth!
    Just how many password and user/computer changes would you have made in this time?

    So even if you could Image your server you would need to do it regularly for it to really be effective.

    So you might as well do it properly,

    BESR to NAS problem solved.

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    LCPSWolf (21st May 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by LCPSWolf View Post
    Hey again,

    My network guy is having issues coming up with a backup plan for a couple RAID 5 servers. Is this possible aside from going out and buying an expensive backup software?
    The same way you back up any other machine. There's nothing special about the logical part of RAID, it's just that physically it's spread around a bit.

    Basically we have 2 of our primary student information system servers running RAID 5, so if a drive dies we're OK - however we'd love an image of the entire server for worst-case scenario issues.
    Good. Complacency is a RAID-killer - even RAID+hotspare is less reliable than it's made out to be, because often the hotspare fails as a result of being kicked into action. Result: tears.

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    LCPSWolf (21st May 2009)

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    FN-GM et al,

    They're running Windows 2003 Server Enterprise and Oracle. One is a database of our student information system and can be accessed directly. A second is a "Portal" server, running the same config that gives a different interface to the data for different users and maintains who can access the database server from the web and from the portal. A third server provides the web interface to the database (with limited access to the data). Those that use it are using Apache for web services.

    I see what many have said about using Raid 0 for that OS and 5 for data - that would make me feel much better. If I had the ability to wipe and reinstall the servers I'd prefer to set it up like that. Let me go into a little more info about what I'm shooting for, as I don't know if I'm being clear.

    We have the data from the database server being backed up to different servers via nightly routines (soon to also be in two different physical locations). The data, while important, seems OK - we could lose the database server and have the data to restore. The backup I'm looking for now will mainly be for the OS - or more accurately, the Oracle install. The company that configured all 3 servers will charge us to reinstall Oracle correctly if it becomes corrupted - that's the portion of the server that I really need to protect.

    Thankfully the servers aren't running AD or any other services of that sort..does that change anything?

    I know our network tech has looked at Backup Exec - that may be the way we end up going.

    Thanks so much for all the suggestions!

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